There are various genres of books/novels/write ups being published daily. But there are very few books which explore the vast subject of Bollywood. Writer Diptakirti Chaudhari has attempted just that in his new book "Kitnay Aadmi Thay" and that too in a novel style.
The book has a tagline "Completely Useless Bollywood Trivia". And yes it’s true! It is totally time passical in nature.....the one which you pick up when you have leisure time and nothing better to do....
The first and foremost thing to understand is that this book is meant only and only for people with keen or shall we say ardent interest in Bollywood...to the extent that they would dig up all the stories behind their favourite movies, as if watching one wouldn't suffice their souls! The ones who would have scrap books made in their adolescent years of their favourite heroes/heroines, their likes/dislikes all their movie posters pasted on their rooms. I recall one such friend of mine who was crazy behind Shahrukh Khan. Every inch of the room screamed "Shahrukh, I love you". She indeed was a walking encyclopaedia. If you are close to the description, you can grab this book without much ado! Others please step aside. :)
The book gives a factual account of some known and unknown information of Bollywood....like which movie song inspired another movie name, shortest names, longest names of movies, famous dialogues, moms/papas/best friends of Bollywood....yes the information which we see and absorb over a collective period of time as almost each one of us has grown up watching the Indian sagas. Diptakirti has just taken the pain of compiling such information and providing us with the option of recounting if interested. But I must say a job marvellously done. I initially thought that the author would focus on only commercial films but taking movies like Manorama six feet under, Shabd, Earth etc. in one of the many lists he has so thoughtfully formulated, he had me impressed. He has truly encompassed all the spheres of Bollywood which is commendable considering the size and depth of our industry. Thus it makes logical sense not to provide an index in the book!
Some parts of the book are really entertaining and any mild Bollywood fan would read them without blinking their eyes like how the famous superstars did met their fate-turning directors/producers. How did a bus conductor became so famous, how many star kids failed the big screen. Some of the categories are really creative like Meta Films - film in another film, soon to be clichéd dialogues, legendary confrontations, types of friends, depictions of various religions, brand placements. It was really observative of the writer to note the nitigrities of various dialogues, scenes, the things/brands used in the movies and come up with such beautiful compilation .....While some part of the book does not inspire or grab attention at all. Sometimes it tends to get really boring as well..... May be some more intrinsic information or creative knowledge sharing would have saved this book from being stale soon after.
All in all, this book is meant as a coffee table book. Nothing more nothing less.